Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Air quality in South Korea has deteriorated due to a dust storm in the Gobi Desert and smog from China, creating demand for air purifiers, vacuum cleaners, dust-proof bedding and curtains, and dust masks.

South Korea ranks as one of the world’s most polluted countries, according to AirVisual, a company that provides air pollution rankings. Recently the Korean Peninsula has been blanketed with a huge dust storm that originated in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, as well as smog from China. As media have been warning that dust and smog can cause serious health risks, the demand for anti-dust items is skyrocketing.

According to the 2016 report of the Korean Institute of Architectural Sustainable Environment and Building Systems, the South Korean market for air purifiers surpassed $894 million, and is expected to grow to about $1.1 billion this year. E-mart, one of the biggest hypermarkets in South Korea, announced that sales of air purifiers rose by 86 percent in March 2017 and are expected to grow further.

Due to the high demand for air purifiers, European and Asian companies started to enter the market and compete with products made in South Korea. In addition to the high demand for air purifiers, vacuum cleaners, dust-proof bed lines, curtains and dust masks are also in high demand in this market.

As demand for products related to air pollution is expected to keep growing, this is an opportunity for Wisconsin firms to provide solutions.